19 Dec 2019

First City University College’s Faculty of Design & Built Environment (FDBE) demonstrated its creative prowess by bagging several awards in the recent Asia Student Package Design Competition (ASPaC) and OLYMPAC competitions in Tokyo, Japan.


The ASPaC event, organised by the Japan Foundation, the ASPaC Association and the Japan Package Design Association, serves as an international cultural exchange project aimed at developing talented young designers in Asia.


This year,FDBE students Lim Hong Cheng and Loh Qiau Yu were shortlisted as the finalists for ASPaC and were invited to attend the awards ceremony.


At the ceremony, Lim, a Second Year Diploma in Graphic Design student, was announced as a recipient of the ASPaC Outstanding Award.


Lim explains that his entry, Malayan Tiger was designed as a candy dispenser that was easy and fun to use. The packaging which contains sweets, relies on a trigger (intended to rhyme with “tiger”) mechanism to dispense them to users.


“In line with the competition’s theme of “Inspire”, I hope my entry will spark a desire in others to protect the Earth’s flora and fauna for future generations. Besides showcasing my Malaysian identity, I chose the Malayan Tiger motif due to the animal’s “Critically Endangered” status, with less than 200 left in the wild”, a passionate Lim shares.


Meanwhile, Loh, who recently completed her studies as a Graphic Designer degree student, won the ASPaC Japan Foundation Award for her entry entitled Clayn.


“The purpose of my clay packaging is to encourage fun and imagination. These characteristics are expressed through its unique form which can be twisted and squeezed, allowing people to interact directly with the packaging”, Loh explains, adding that this would add to the marketability of the product.


Loh further distinguished herself by bagging the Bronze Medal in the OLYMPAC student package design contest. The OLYMPAC contest, held for the very first time, tests students’ ability to ideate and actualise their package within a time limit of 105 minutes. Afterwards, students will present their computer sketches to the judges for evaluation.


Loh who emerged as the sole Asian representative among the podium winners, explained that her OLYMPAC entry, Play-Oew was inspired by her desire to have her shy pet cat interact with others.


“This lead me to design a unique food packaging for cats. Each time a cat interacts with a fibre thread ball from the packaging, small bits of biscuits will drop out. That way, anyone will be able to help feed others’ pet cat!” shares Loh.


She adds that despite being pressured with a tight time limit, she applied her lecturers’ advice to remain calm. In the end, she succeeded in finalising her idea within 30 minutes and was able to complete her design sketch well within the time limit.


Both Lim and Loh credit the team of lecturers from across all FDBE programmes for providing valuable advice during their preparation.


Meanwhile, FDBE Deputy Head Assistant Professor Dr. Debbie Gan Siew Siew who was present at the ASPaC awards ceremony, praised both students for their stellar achievements.


She adds that the students’ entries and that of the other winners’ will be on display in Osaka next year before going on tour around the participating countries.


“To date, this is First City UC’s third year participating in ASPaC. It gives me great pride to say that our students have won awards in all three editions so far”, Dr. Debbie exclaims.


For nearly 30 years, First City UC’s Design Faculty has produced many award-winning students, some of whom have landed jobs even more graduation. Furthermore, the faculty enjoys strong links with professional bodies such as Malaysian Institute of Interior Designers, Malaysian Design Council and wREGA.


Students with aspirations for a professional design career are encouraged to visit First City UC to learn more about the relevant programmes. Moreover, a tour of FDBE’s state-of-the-art learning facilities can be arranged. Those who sign up now for the upcoming January intake will be entitled to a 50% incentive.